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Jobs and Development

We need a reskilling revolution. Here's how to make it happen

Børge Brende's picture
Also available in: Español
As the world of work changes, so must our approach to education and skills. Photo: Reuters

As the world faces the transformative economic, social and environmental challenges of Globalization 4.0, it has never been more important to invest in people.

Valuing human capital not only serves to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills to respond to systemic shifts, it also empowers them to take part in creating a more equal, inclusive and sustainable world.

5 facts about jobs and economic transformation in IDA countries

Dino Leonardo Merotto's picture
Economies grow when more people find work, when they get better at what they do, and when they move from low-productivity work to better, more productive jobs. Photo: World Bank

What are the pathways people follow to better jobs? Economies grow when more people find work, when they get better at what they do, and when they move from low-productivity work to better, higher-productivity jobs. Our newest report `Pathways to better jobs in IDA countries’ takes a closer look at how people benefit through jobs in the process of development. It identifies how the available jobs change with economic transformation and shows how the structure of labor markets differs between low, lower-middle, and middle-income countries. It points to key challenges in ensuring that workers can transition between sectors, between locations, and between self- and waged employment.

The study uncovers many findings, some familiar, some new. These will be featured in more detail in future blogs. Meanwhile, here are five important facts drawn from this extensive research, which combines data from over 16,000 episodes of real GDP growth, labor supply information for over 140 countries, and firm-level analysis from Jobs Diagnostics.

Rising with rice in Côte d’Ivoire 3: The contours of a pilot project

Raphaela Karlen's picture
Issouf Ouattara, sales manager of the Lopé lowlands in the Hambol Region, Côte d’Ivoire, shares a laugh with Sali Soro, smallholder rice farmer (Photo by Raphaela Karlen, World Bank)

The second post of this blog series illustrated the potential for poverty reduction through value chain development (VCD) in Africa. This is an approach that Côte d’Ivoire hopes will work for its rice farmers. During the 2008 world food crisis, rice prices tripled in a matter of months, and the Government of Côte d’Ivoire got to work on a National Rice Development Strategy. With more than half of the country’s rising demand for rice being met by imports, which could in principle be produced locally, the strategy aims to create self-sufficiency when it comes to rice production.

The strategy lays out a VCD approach driven by the private sector, with the rice mills as entry points. It focuses on strengthening market development while at the same time improving the productivity of rice farmers and the quality of rice processing. This should allow the domestic rice value chain to produce higher volumes of quality white rice to meet the unmet urban demand. 

Rising with rice in Côte d’Ivoire 2: More and better jobs by connecting farmers to markets

Luc Christiaensen's picture
Also available in: Français
Workers operating the rice thresher in the Lopé lowlands in the Hambol Region, Côte d’Ivoire. Photo by Raphaela Karlen / World Bank

In the first post of this blog series, we traveled to the center of Côte d’Ivoire during rice harvesting season and met two people whose livelihoods depended on the outcome: Sali Soro, a smallholder farmer and member of a regional rice cooperative, and Zié Coulibaly, director of the Katiola rice mill.

Their stories illustrate the challenges faced by local farmers and millers and show how the chain is not reaching its full potential in contributing to poverty reduction in Côte d’Ivoire.

While routines are comforting, they can also be job killers

Hernan Winkler's picture
The rapid adoption of digital technologies tends to benefit workers with skills that are difficult to replace with a computer, such as creativity, inter-personal skills or leadership. Photo: Sarah Farhat/ World Bank

 In the changing nature of work, diplomas are important, but skills are invaluable.

Being a teacher in Norway may require a very different set of skills than being a teacher in Africa, even though the job title is the same. For example, while teachers in the developed world may need to have digital or foreign language skills, these attributes may not be as essential to become an effective teacher in the rest of the world.

Rising with rice in Côte d’Ivoire 1: How local farmers and millers are leading the way

Raphaela Karlen's picture
Also available in: Français
Zié Coulibaly, director of the Katiola rice mill in the Hambol Region, Côte d’Ivoire (Photo by Raphaela Karlen, World Bank)

It is rice harvesting time in the Hambol Region of central Côte d’Ivoire, and Sali Soro is making sure this important day goes off without a hitch. A female member of Coop-CA Hambol, a regional rice cooperative in the Lopé lowlands, Sali managed to rent one of the few threshers available in the area. Workers brought the machine to her plot in the early morning and the rumble of the thresher has filled the air ever since.

At the end of the day, Sali will bring the harvested paddy rice to the nearby mill in the small town of Katiola. It’s a mill she is quite familiar with: Throughout the rice production cycle, Sali received not only seeds and fertilizers from the mill but also in-person agronomic advice from an extension agent.

Developing jobs-focused lending operations

Sonia Madhvani's picture


We spoke with David Robalino, former Manager of the Jobs Group of the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice. He discusses his report “Lending for Jobs Operations” that describes a general framework to inform the design of a new generation of World Bank lending operations. These operations have explicit objectives to either create jobs, improve the quality of existing jobs, or increase access to jobs for vulnerable populations.
 
He also describes tools that the Jobs Group has built to support jobs focused lending operations including the “Monitoring and Evaluation of Jobs Operations Guide,”  and “Economic Analysis of Jobs Investment Projects.”


Follow the World Bank Jobs Group on Twitter @wbg_jobs.
 

Four key trends in Economic Inclusion Programs

Ines Arevalo's picture
Economic inclusion programs provide a “big push” to help the extreme poor and other vulnerable people move into sustainable livelihoods, and can play an important part in poverty reduction. Photo: Maria Fleischmann / World Bank

Targeted household-level economic inclusion programs are on the rise:  nearly 100 programs across 43 countries have reached an estimated 14 million people to date, according to the Partnership for Economic Inclusion’s (PEI) 2018 State of the Sector report. These programs provide a “big push” to help the extreme poor and other vulnerable people move into sustainable livelihoods, and can play an important part in poverty reduction and the new “social contract”, as noted in a recent blog.

In Africa, more not fewer people will work in agriculture

Luc Christiaensen's picture
Is the neglect of agriculture in job creation strategies and public investments premature? Photo:  Peter Kapuscinski / World Bank

Many people in Sub-Saharan Africa still work in agriculture; on average, over half of the labor force, and even more in poorer countries and localities. Yet the share of the labor force in agriculture is declining (as is normal in development), leading African leaders and economists to focus on job creation outside agriculture.

Planning for jobs of the future matters.  The 200 million young people (those ages 15-24 years old) either looking for jobs or constructing livelihoods now, will increase to 275 million each year by 2030, and 325 million by 2050. Is the neglect of agriculture in job creation strategies and public investments premature?

How can we unlock the potential of household enterprises in Tanzania?

Julia Granata's picture
Access to finance was the major constraint to starting or growing a household enterprise. Photo: Odette Maciel

Non-farm household enterprises provide an important opportunity for employment in Tanzania. Agriculture is still the primary economic activity of the country, but the economy is shifting away from it and the number of people employed in this sector has been declining since 2006. At the same time, nearly 850,000 individuals a year enter the labor market seeking gainful employment and non-farm household enterprises are growing rapidly. Across the country, 65.9% of households reported household enterprises as a primary or secondary employment.

Due to the growing importance of non-farm household enterprises, our team conducted a study to understand why household enterprises are not growing and what their major constraints are to productivity gains.

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